Asker Nature Reserve

Mountjoy Young People

A recent audience at Bridport Town Hall was on tenterhooks waiting to discover the identity of a 'Black and Red Pinchy Num Num'!

The gathering was the culmination of a two year project between Mountjoy School in Beaminster, and Asker Nature Reserve group. The evening was opened by the Mayor, Dave Bolwell, who represented Bridport Town Council, the owners and managers of the reserve.


Young volunteers from the school, who have complex needs, have been working with people from the Nature Reserve group. Their activities have included tree planting, litter picking and river fly testing. Poet Jonny Fluffypunk and community artist Sarah-Jane Ross have worked with them to help them record their experiences with poetry and art.


Co-ordinator Wen Fern, who set up the project with teacher Kat Thurtle from Mountjoy School said:


“Asker Meadows Reserve is a wonderful green space in town and a haven for wildlife. Although the nature reserve is enjoyed by many, we’re always looking for ways to help a wider variety of people visit and benefit from it. When Kat contacted us to ask if young people from the school could volunteer, it was a good opportunity for us to do this.”


The project has run for two years with two different groups working in the Meadows. As well as Jonny and Sarah Jane, the young people were assisted by volunteers from the Asker Meadows group and staff from Mountjoy school. Financial support also came from Dorset Natural Landscape and Bournemouth University. After the project Kat Thurtle said:


“Our work on the project has been brilliant for the young people from Ash and Oak class. It’s allowed them to experience the Meadows as a community space close to our school. The work produced with Jonny and Sarah-Jane has expressed their experiences through poetry and art and really captured the joy of being out in nature and caring for the environment.”


The well-attended gathering at the Town Hall featured performances by Jonny Fluffypunk and three of the young people performing their poetry, and photos and paintings from the project. This included a spectacular long frieze, representing the landscape of the Meadows, the river and its creatures, that the MC for the evening, Ged Duncan, likened to the Bayeaux Tapestry.


I Love This, It’s Better Than Being in the Classroom (by Ash Cass, an excerpt)

Let’s all eat blackberries and ping pods of balsam
Let dandelion clocks feel the kiss of our breath
The branches are heavy with berries of hawthorn
And that means a challenging season ahead


And those Black and Red Pinchy Num Nums?


This was the name the young people gave in one of their poems to the litter pickers they used in the Meadows. At the end of the gathering, the Mayor presented the young people attending with a litter picker and a certificate which thanked them for their help and titled them Official Bridport Town Council Litter Pickers.


‘A Black and Red Pinchy Num Num’, is published by Bardic Media and is available for £5 from Clocktower Too, South Street, Bridport, or by contacting Asker Meadows group on Find out more about Asker Meadows on



Asker Meadows Nature Reserve Project – Wen Fern 07896 926585 –
Mountjoy School – Kat Thurtle – 01308 861155 –
PLEASE CREDIT any photos used to ‘(c) Greg Thurtle of TP Photography.’

Mountjoy Young People Gallery